Nigella Lawson's Bookshelf
By Thomas Mann
I read Tonio Kröger in my late teens, when I was going through—as many adolescents do, of course—that stormy, intense emotional phase, and the anguished worldview of Tonio Kröger just hit a chord. "Wer am meisten liebt, ist der Unterlegene und muß leiden" is a sentence I still remember, I hope not erroneously, after all those years: "He who loves the most is the inferior and must suffer." I don't believe that now, but the force of being devoured by that breast-beating melancholy hasn't left me.